We like to keep our birthday parties simple and frugal around here, but we always want our kids to feel celebrated on their special day. Obviously they won’t remember their first birthdays, but we have photos for their baby books and traditions to build on. Today I’m sharing a few of our simple and festive birthday party ideas as well as some of the best from my fellow Ultimate Baby bloggers.

1) Party at Home

Your new 1 year old is most comfortable in their own home, and less likely to be overwhelmed by the celebration. Save the big park party or bounce house rental for older years when they can enjoy and remember it. If your place isn’t suitable for a party, think of other places your baby is familiar with – grandparent’s home, church, etc.


2) Go for reusable, coordinating party gear instead of matching throwaways.

Start your collection now for all of those future parties. We use a handmade “Happy Birthday” banner in primary colors that goes with everything, as well as party plates in a polka dot pattern that fit any theme. Steer clear of expensive matching character sets at this age. When they are older you can save money by choosing one character item and color cooridinating rather than matching.

3) Focus on your baby.

What do they really like? For our kids’ first birthdays we made sure there were plenty of balloons, an instant crowd pleaser. Babies love bright colors, balls, books, and bubbles. Think simple. Balloon garlands are so easy and inexpensive, and transform a space in to an instant party.


4) Smash Cake Suggestions

I’ve seen so many kids balk at the first birthday cake, the Bear included. If you want an adorable smash cake photo shoot, do it on a different day. Your child will be so overwhelmed by the party and the cake and the singing, they may not cooperate with the cake smash. Keep it simple that day and allow them to go for it, but don’t stress about it. Making the cake at home is a great way to save money. If you don’t want to make one from scratch, grab a box of cake mix and my best ever icing recipe. Sprinkles cover a multitude of sins and look festive.

5) Step away from Pinterest.

I love Pinterest, but it can be a black hole of impossible standards when it comes to party planning. Use it for inspiration, but know that what’s important is a fun celebration of your sweet baby’s milestone, not perfection. Pick 3 ideas to use instead of 30, and make your party special but not over the top outrageous. Enjoy it. Savor it. Your sweet one is becoming a toddler.

How do you keep birthday parties simple and frugal?


Follow Dayna :: Lemon Lime Adventures’s board Everything Baby on Pinterest.

Ultimate Guide to Celebrating Baby’s First Year ~ Lemon Lime Adventures

How to Use Pinterest to Plan Baby’s First Birthday Party ~ Trust Me, I’m a Mom

Big Brother/ Big Sister Party – getting siblings excited about the new baby ~ Mom Favorites

Simple 1st Birthday Party Ideas ~ Bare Feet on the Dashboard

Piper’s First Birthday Celebration ~ Conceiving Piper

Five ideas for an “original” first birthday – La Cité des Vents

Monkey Smash Cake for Baby’s First Birthday ~ All Done Monkey

Five ideas for an “original” first birthday ~ La Cité des Vents

Tips for Taking Better Baby Photos ~ Happily Ever Mom

Keeping Memories for Baby’s First Year  ~ Powerful Mothering

Baby’s First Year Photo Album ~ BPhotoArt


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